DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITIES: THE END conceived and directed by Darren O'Donnell (Mammalian Diving Reflex). At Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander). To February 25. Pwyc-$23. 416-975-8555. See Continuing, page 72. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Framed around some simple ideological queries - Do you pray? What's your favourite song for the apocalypse? Where do your deepest fears lie? - Diplomatic Immunities runs on a Peter Pan and Tinkerbell premise: lose your faith and the performance will die.
That's to say, the success of the show depends on the audience's intellectual and emotional commitment.
To designate Darren O'Donnell's latest show as a play is too restrictive; to describe its set is meaningless.
There are some chairs, computers and a huge screen at the back of the stage where documentary-style clips of individuals talking about god and the end of the world are played while the eight-person cast comments.
The narrative of the show depends on the audience since, after the doc-style clips, the cast turns to pose said philosophical questions to the crowd. Diplomatic is more an interactive existential experience than a show. As an experience with theatrical elements, it is highly recommended for anyone mildly interested in the survival of humanity, spirituality and the environment.
O'Donnell's heady yet human showmanship, along with his curiosity about social geography and discourse, demands hard answers from the audience about the nature of good and evil. But it's worth it.
If being part of a theatrical think tank sounds compelling, your curtain call's at 8.